Teenagers are at higher risks for accidents because of their inexperience
behind the wheel. As seasoned drivers know, it takes time to learn how
to handle unexpected situations and distractions. Parents are urged to
be actively involved in their teen's driving career during the learning
stages and well beyond to help reduce their risks for a potentially fatal
car accident. A parent's involvement may be one of our greatest defenses
against these types of accidents.
Operation Stop, there are nearly 300 people who die every year because of
Missouri car accidents that involve a teen driver. Missouri is ranked as the 10h deadliest state
for these types of accidents in the U.S.
Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death for residents
aged 15- to 20-years-old. In 2009, there were more than 208 million licensed
drivers in the country. This young age group accounted for only about
6 percent of these drivers. Throughout the year, there were nearly 2,000
of these young drivers who were killed in car accidents. Another 200,000
were injured. In Missouri, there were nearly 100 young drivers killed
in traffic accidents, according to the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In our state, these young drivers accounted for about 7 percent
of all of the licensed drivers.
According to the
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a teen is killed or injured in a Missouri car accident every 43 minutes.
And it's not just teen drivers who are at risk for these types of
serious accidents. In 2009, there were more than 5,100 young drivers involved
in fatal accidents: in many cases, the people killed were older drivers
or passengers in other vehicles.
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers the following safety tips for parents to share with their
teen drivers. Parents are urged to review these tips and share them with
the teen driver in your life. It's crucial that teens understand what
their parents expect of them when behind the wheel: that's why so
many safety advocates recommend using a
parent-teen driving contract.
Teen Safe Driving Tips:
Turn off the phone. This generation's tech savvy teens interact with each other regularly
through texting and social media - and they're also notorious for
doing so while driving. Insist that your teens put away their phones and
other portable electronic devices. They're all extremely dangerous,
as they take the driver's attention off of the roadway. Research has
shown that driving while using a cell phone gives a driver the same reaction
ability as a driver who is legally drunk.
You might consider sharing this story with your teen:
Taylor Sauer Died While Driving And Facebooking; Now Parents Want To Make
It Illegal. Sauer, age 18, died minutes after posting the following message: "I
can't discuss this now. Driving and facebooking is not safe! Haha."
Always obey the speed limit. Speeding is a top cause in about 40% of all fatal teen car crashes.
Drive solo. Passengers can create some of the most dangerous distractions, especially
when they're other teens. The fewer the passengers, the safer the
driver will be.
Keep it sober. (Although teens aren't old enough to legally purchase alcohol, it
doesn't mean they can't get it and won't drink it.)
Practice defensive driving. Be alert to what is going on around all sides of your vehicle. Always
be ready to react.
Check out your rights and responsibilities, as a parent and as a teen driver, through
Missouri's Graduated Driver's License program.
If you or your young driver has been injured in a car accident in Sikeston,
Dexter, New Madrid, Perryville or elsewhere in Southeast Missouri, contact
the New Madrid Personal Injury Lawyers at Aaron Sachs & Associates
for a free initial consultation. Call 1-888-777-AUTO.
Attorney meetings by appointment only